In the latest chapter of the ongoing battle over comprehensive immigration and asylum reforms, Senate Democrats have chosen to turn a blind eye to the pressing issues affecting major cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago due to the influx of illegal immigrants facilitated by President Joe Biden. The refusal to include measures to address these challenges has left Republicans, led by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), frustrated and determined to prioritize border security.
In a recent digital briefing with reporters, Sen. Lankford highlighted the Democrats’ unwavering stance on excluding provisions that tackle problems in cities grappling with the aftermath of the surge in illegal immigration. The 280-page draft bill, a result of negotiations between Sen. Lankford and Democratic senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Az.), squarely focuses on border security without addressing the issues posed by the existing population of illegal immigrants in the country.
Senator James Lankford, with a hint of sarcasm, exposed the Democrats’ stubborn stance, highlighting their unwillingness to tackle the repercussions of the influx of illegal immigrants in cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Lankford, perhaps with a raised eyebrow, stressed that despite the bill’s limitations, the Democrats’ paramount objective is to play the role of crisis prevention superheroes. Picture them in capes, swooping in to save the day or at least attempting to keep the situation from worsening daily. It seems as if they believe addressing the immediate issues in major cities is beneath their lofty goals of border security legislation.
In a moment of wry humor, Lankford acknowledged that while the proposed legislation may not be the all-encompassing solution to every immigration or border-related woe, it does aim to target the most significant problems. It’s almost as if the Democrats are playing a game of legislative whack-a-mole, focusing on the pressing issues that can be addressed now while the more significant concerns linger in the background.
The draft bill’s release late Sunday afternoon sparked immediate criticism, predominantly from House Republicans. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) expressed disappointment, deeming the text “worse than expected,” while Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Republican Conference, outright labeled the proposal as “an absolute non-starter.”
Sen. Lankford, one of the Senate’s staunchest conservatives, responded to the criticism by expressing confusion over Speaker Johnson’s assessment. He pointed out the bill’s provisions, including the construction of a border wall, expanded deportations, increased ICE and Border Patrol officers, additional detention beds, a streamlined deportation process, and the resolution of long-standing asylum law loopholes. Lankford emphasized that the bill also provides emergency authority to address the current border chaos promptly.
Addressing the need for border control, Lankford emphasized the urgency of finding a solution, given that over a million people have crossed the border since October 1. He criticized President Biden for not enforcing existing laws effectively. He stressed the necessity of implementing measures to halt the ongoing crisis, not just for the present but for decades.
Despite Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s expectations of debating and voting on the bill in the Senate as early as February 7, the vehement opposition from House Republicans raises doubts about the smooth progression of the legislation. Lankford remains open to amendments and additional negotiations, welcoming input from both Senate and House members to enhance the bill’s effectiveness.
In a statement of support, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell highlighted the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border, causing an unprecedented crisis with far-reaching consequences. McConnell emphasized the need to compel President Biden to address the aftermath of the crisis and equip future leaders with practical tools to restore order.
As the political tug-of-war over immigration reform continues, Republicans are determined to address the immediate challenges at the border, placing the spotlight on a critical issue that demands bipartisan solutions for the sake of the nation’s security and stability.